Only the Best Free Webinar Tools and Services for Online Experts

For over a decade now, online trainers and digital marketing experts have relied on various techniques for lead generations and it turns out that again and again it comes down to webinars being the best way to do this since educating customers increases the chances of them listening to you and buying your story – it’s a world proven fact.

But what are webinars really and how are they different from online video conferencing?

If the name rings a bill, the ‘webinar’ is just like a ‘seminar’ but over the web. It could be a small presentation, lecture, workshop or a general online event where the purpose is to educate or inform a mass of people simultaneously.

And yes, if there’s one thing you should know about webinars, it’s that they are resource intensive because you are trying to bring a huge crowd of people online together (anywhere from 25, 50 to 100 or even more) so you can imagine that whatever tool or service you are going to use to host a webinar should have huge amount of bandwidth and cpu resources which makes it all the more hard to find a service that would let you do this for free.

Below, we will take a look at some of the best webinar tools that the web has to offer along with their pricing and features.

GoToWebinar & BlueJeans

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GoToWebinar is a product created by Citrix and comes under the GoToMeeting product umbrella that has been around for more than a decade and is undoubtedly the best webinar hosting service available on the web but is only suitable if you have large volumes of webinars and is not recommended for individuals or small businesses since they don’t offer a free version.

Same is the case with BlueJeans which is a rather new but amazing webinar service that has garnered quite a loyal following but the issue with both of these services is that they don’t offer a free version so if you want to webinars just once in a while and don’t want to pay for it, GoToMeeting and BlueJeans are not recommended.

Free Online Webinar Tools & Services

As such there is no webinar tool or service that is completely ‘free’ but there are some webinar tools and services that offer free features but with constraints and in the post below we are going to discuss which of these services exist and which ones are the best in terms of ‘free’ value.

Google Hangouts (Free)

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Hangouts, which are originally part of Google+, is one of the best free services available online that you can use to host a webinar.

The Good:

  • Works in the browser
  • Screensharing and Presentation sharing
  • Remote desktop sharing
  • 3rd party apps integration for record and presentation (Slideshare, YouTube etc)
  • Works on desktop, iPhone and Android

The Bad:

  • Requires you to install a plugin once.
  • Only 15 participants can join simultaneously.
  • Organizer and all participants must have Gmail email / Google+ profile

One of the unique features about Google Hangouts is Hangouts on Air which lets you broadcast your hangout to an unlimited number of users but the disadvantage there is that your users won’t be able to interact with your via chat, audio or video.

Skype (Free)

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Skype, now owned by Microsoft, is one of the those services which actually started the trend of video calls when it was launched back in 2003 (almost 11 years ago). Today, Skype is so much more and now it lets you do all sorts of stuff – messaging, calling, video conferencing, screen sharing, online presentations etc

The Good:

  • Microsoft backed service.
  • Integration with Facebook.
  • Works on desktop and mobile.
  • 3rd party recording apps available.

The Bad:

  • Requires you to install Skype
  • Only 10 people allowed with screen sharing with video
  • Maximum 25 people while screen sharing with no video
  • All participants must have a Skype ID.

Join.Me (Basic)

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Join.Me is a product of the famous Boston-based remote access and remote desktop sharing company LogMeIn

The Good:

  • Powered by LogMeIn
  • Only 10 participants allowed
  • Apps for iPhone and Android

The Bad:

  • Recording not available
  • iPad Presentation feature not available
  • Desktop app only available for Windows
  • Join.me account needed
  • Viewers will be shown ads on their screen

MeetingBurner (Free)

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MeetingBurner is a fast and simple online meeting platform that can be used for screen sharing, online presentations and webinars.

The Good:

  • Host Unlimited Webinars
  • Only 10 participants allowed
  • No Ads for viewers
  • Mac and PC compatible
  • Streaming video of host
  • Customisable registration page
  • Facebook Promotion Tool

The Bad:

  • Old app for iPhone / Android
  • No Recording allowed
  • No Meeting Analytics

Zoom.us (Basic)

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And now for our favourite.

Zoom.us is a web and video conferencing service that offers unique solutions such as conference room to iPad connections and the world’s first ever iPhone/iPad screen sharing solution. It gathered a lot of press recently as it managed to win $30 million in Series C funding.

The Good:

  • Up to 25 participants allowed
  • Dual stream for dual screen
  • Join by telephone call-in
  • HD video and HD audio
  • Dynamic voice detection
  • Share iPhone/iPad screen
  • Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
  • Whiteboarding & Recording available
  • Attendees don’t need to have an account

The Bad:

  • Browser plug-in needed
  • 40 minutes per meeting

It seems like it was a tough battle between MeetingBurner and Zoom.us but when it comes to number and uniqueness of features along with reliability and value – Zoom.us wins hands down. Not only does Zoom.us offers a higher number of attendees as compared to other free webinar tools and services, it also offers a range and variety of features that other services don’t have and the $30 million venture backing tells us that its here to stay in the market for long.

If you have any other free webinar tools or services that you would like us to review, please share in the comments below.

Great Free Online Tools and Apps for Startups and Entrepreneurs

When you are doing a startup, the first thing you look for is for efficient ways to keep the costs at minimum while increasing the productivity of your team and building a solid product that appeals to your customer base. This can be tricky as one needs to find the right tools that can help them achieve this!

Below we have shortlisted and handpicked some of the essential best free online tools that startups and entrepreneurs can use.

Google Docs

Online document collaboration doesn’t get easier than this. Introduced in early 2005 as Writely, the Google backed free web-based office suite is tightly integrated with Google Drive and has come a long way over the decade with new features being released every month. The tool allows you to create Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Form, Drawings and Fusion Tables and lets your import/export files from Microsoft Office and the other great feature of this online tool is that it lets you connect 3rd party apps and services to your account.

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Trello or BaseCamp

For those who manage remote teams, Trello is the perfect little tool that can help you keep a track of your to-dos in a visual manner with help of “boards”. Trello is a simple app that will help everyone on your team collaborate better and it is flexible enough in a way that it lets you create multiple boards so you can manage your team effectively and communicate with them in a better way without having to email each other and follow up on tasks. BaseCamp is quite similar such that it also lets you manage projects and teams effectively and comes with a close integration of Google Docs.

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MailChimp

This one’s really useful if you are in the business of getting customers through email marketing. MailChimp is online email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails and track results and you will find yourself using it a lot of if you have products to offer or if you want to keep your customers in loop with news, updates or discounts. Free for first 2,000 subscribers.

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Asana

Asana markets itself as “teamwork without email”. Hard to believe right? But that’s exactly what it does. Founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, this is the next generation project management tool that is being used around by small and medium enterprises to manage their teams, tasks, project deadlines, resource management – all without the hassle of emails.

asana

Zoom.us

Zoom will take care of all your online meeting, conferencing or group chat needs. What makes Zoom really useful for startups is that it allows conferencing with as many as 25 participants on its free account (more than Google Hangout or Skype) and this makes it an amazing tool for cross-team collaboration or doing webinars. You can not only host a video meeting but also do screen-sharing as well and there is an iPhone/iPad app available too so you can take your work anywhere and be mobile.

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OHours and Doodle

So you are in the business of meeting people a lot and find it hard to schedule your meetings? Meet OHours. Ohours is an online tool to schedule meetings with a lot of people by allowing you to make public slots available which people can subscribe to. This way you can schedule multiple meetings and never lose the track whether the meeting is on phone, on Skype or even in person. Doodle is another similar tool that lets simplifies the process of scheduling events, whether they’re board or team meetings, dinners with friends, reunions, weekend trips, or anything else.

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Google Analytics

Everyone knows about this. Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. Interestingly the target market for this tool are digital marketers as opposed to web masters and technologists and it is now the pseudo-standard for analytics and data collection on the web.

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Creately

If you wan to create mind maps, mockups or complex business models as simple connected nodes then Creately is the tool for you. It will let you do everything e.g. flowcharts, organisations sitemaps, wireframes & UI mockups, mind maps, network diagrams and even info graphics.

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